Leavitt Bulldog: A Complete Dog Breed Information Guide

Young Leavitt Bulldog puppy close up

The Leavitt Bulldog, also called the LA, is a breed that perfectly encapsulates the classic bulldog temperament and physicality, but with a focus on improved health and vitality. These dogs possess the loving and tenacious traits that have made bulldogs so popular, yet are bred to sidestep many of the health issues that plague the traditional English Bulldog. With a lineage expertly crafted by David Leavitt, they harken back to a sturdy, athletic build reminiscent of bulldogs depicted in 19th-century artwork.

As you look into adding a Leavitt Bulldog puppy to your family, you’ll appreciate learning from reputable breeders like Andrea Denny at Roseheart Bulldogges. Engaging with a knowledgeable breeder ensures that your future companion is raised with the utmost care, inheriting the Leavitt Bulldog’s signature good health and stable disposition.

To give the best possible overview and breed information, the expertise of breeders like Andrea Denny is indispensable. They provide insights into not only the breed’s history but also the care and considerations needed when raising a Leavitt Bulldog. For deeper understanding of the breed standards and the community that surrounds these remarkable dogs, the Leavitt Bulldog Association (LBA)  provides resources and connections for both seasoned owners and new admirers alike.

So, What Is A Leavitt Bulldog? Breed Overview

The Leavitt Bulldog is a breed developed by David Leavitt in the 1970s to create a healthier, more athletic Bulldog similar in appearance to the 18th-century English Bulldog. It’s known for its muscular build, friendly disposition, and reduced health issues compared to other Bulldog breeds. 

This breed is recognized for its intelligence, strength, and loyalty, making it a popular choice for families and dog enthusiasts.

In your journey to understand the Leavitt Bulldog, it’s essential to step back to the 1970s. These dogs were created with the aim of mirroring the 18th-century Bulldog’s appearance, which boasted a healthier and more athletic frame compared to its modern descendants. The modern English Bulldogs’ issues with their well-being and breathing sparked the initiative to recreate a Bulldog that harkened back to stronger, earlier days.

Why this particular breed? Well, beyond their muscular build, Bulldogs historically symbolized remarkable bravery and resilience. They were often pitted against larger animals in times past, not for sport but as a testament to their indomitable spirit. The Leavitt Bulldog’s creator sought a canine that conveyed an intimidating presence, enough to deter any threats without resorting to aggression.

Main Characteristics:

  • Appearance: The Leavitt Bulldog sports a sturdy, fit physique with a powerful presence.
  • Temperament: Known for their courage and loyalty, they also have a gentle side, making them suitable family pets.
  • Health: With a focus on reversing certain health issues, the Leavitt Bulldog tends toward better overall wellness.

Your newest four-legged friend has a past that’s both rich and functional. The Leavitt Bulldog isn’t just about looks; it’s a thoughtful blend of strength, bravery, and companionship. They’re a breed with an imposing look that has been designed not to engage in unnecessary confrontations, but to offer an assertive deterrence, reflecting the best of their historical roots while aiming for a healthier future for the breed.

Leavitt Bulldog History and Origin

Diving into the Leavitt Bulldog’s past, you’ll discover a breed crafted to embody the robust nature of ancient bulldogs sans the aggression. This journey began in the 1970s with David Leavitt’s vision to reinvigorate the bulldog breed.


The ancestry of the Leavitt Bulldog is a tapestry woven from several breeds. David Leavitt started with a blend of 1/2 English Bulldog and an equal mix of American Bulldog, American Pit Bull Terrier, and Bullmastiff. This genetic concoction was strategic, aimed at resurrecting the agility and physical form found in 19th-century bulldogs.

Historical Significance and Development

Back in the 18th and 19th centuries, bulldogs in England were known for bull and bear baiting, showing immense tenacity. However, such cruelty to animals fell out of favor, influencing the bulldog’s evolution into a more docile companion. Fast forward to the 1970s, when Leavitt’s breeding goals took shape. 

His objective was clear: re-create a muscular and athletic old working bulldog with a friendly personality. This mission necessitated careful breeding, shifting away from practices like cesarean section births, towards more natural methods.

The Breed Today

In your quest to understand the current-day Leavitt Bulldog, recognize that they are versatile, affectionate, and sportive dogs. With fitness and temperament suitable for active companionship, they readily integrate into family life. Their physical characteristics now reflect the healthier blueprint set forth by breeds in their lineage, striving for longevity and well-being.

While recognized under the Olde English Bulldogge name, the term “Leavitt Bulldog” distinguishes the genuine original bloodlines. The term “Old English Bulldogge” or OEB refers to a range of dogs now, many of whom look more like the modern English Bulldog. So, the Leavitt is distinguished by being true to the breed founder’s original goal. 

Kennel Club Recognition

Your Leavitt Bulldog is getting noticed in the canine community. In 2014, the breed garnered acknowledgment from the United Kennel Club within their Guardian Dog Group, as the Olde English Bulldogge. The term “Leavitt” refers to specific OEB bloodline that is closest to the Breed founder’s original vision for a healthier, more active, Bulldog alternative.

Another important organization, the Continental Kennel Club, maps the pedigree of these dogs, ensuring they meet the established standard.

Physical Characteristics

Young Leavitt Bulldog black mask red dog close up

The Leavitt Bulldog is an epitome of balance and athleticism. Its medium size is deceptive; the breed is robust with a muscular build, created to excel in bull baiting. Learn about the key physical attributes that make the Leavitt Bulldog both a powerful and agile companion.

Size and Build

Here’s a table displaying the height, weight, and length of male and female Leavitt Bulldogs in both imperial and metric units:

GenderWeight (lbs)Weight (kg)Height (inches)Height (cm)
Males60 – 8027.22 – 36.2917 – 2043.18 – 50.8
Females50 – 7022.68 – 31.7516 – 1940.64 – 48.26

These standards reflect the breed’s athletic and muscular build, suited for both males and females of the Leavitt Bulldog breed

Any deviations from these measurements are considered faults, with the extent of the deviation affecting the severity of the fault.


Head and Face:

  • The head of a Leavitt Bulldog is large and well-muscled, matching its powerful jaws and prominent cheeks.
  • Eyes are round to almond-shaped, set wide apart, and come in a brown color with black pigmented rims.
  • The breed’s nose is large, broad, and always black.


  • Leavitt Bulldogs possess a sturdy, well-proportioned body with a wide, muscular back and a slightly arched loin.
  • Their well-sprung ribs and muscular chest contribute heavily to their athletic appearance.

Faults such as a narrow skull or any pink on the eye rims are taken seriously, as they deviate from the ideal breed standard.

Coat and Colors


  • The coat is short, close, and of medium density, showcasing the breed’s health with its shine.
  • Common coat issues such as shedding can be expected, but to a manageable degree given their short coat.


  • Acceptable colors include brindle shades like red, mahogany, fawn, or black, as well as solid white.
  • Markings can be solid or pied, with white features being commonplace.

Remember, colors reflect the dog’s health and any issues such as a blue coat would result in disqualification because of breed standards set by organizations like the Leavitt Bulldog Association.

Temperament and Personality

bold and confident Leavitt Bulldog

The Leavitt Bulldog is known for its bold and confident nature, coupled with a friendly and loving disposition. By understanding the temperament and personality traits of these dogs, you’ll be better equipped to provide them with the care and training they need.

General Disposition

Leavitt Bulldogs possess a strong sense of courage and alertness. Their protective instincts make them reliable companions. Their intelligence and determination make them highly trainable, but they require consistent socialization as they can exhibit same-sex aggression.

Suitability with Children and Other Animals

Despite their strength and fearless nature, Leavitt Bulldogs are typically friendly and docile, making them suitable for families with children. However, due to their potential for dog aggression, careful introductions to other dogs and pets are necessary, always under supervision.

Common Behavioral Traits

Often determined and capable, they thrive on having responsibilities, ideally in roles such as working dogs or in dog sports like weight pulling. If you own a Leavitt Bulldog, channel their high energy and strength through regular exercise and designated work to prevent destructive behaviors. Endurance is a hallmark of the breed, and they excel when their physical and mental strengths are put to good use.

Health And Lifespan

When considering the health and lifespan of the Leavitt Bulldog, it’s important to acknowledge the efforts made to combat common health issues faced by bulldogs. Originating from a dedicated breeding program, the Leavitt Bulldog tends to have a more robust health profile compared to its English Bulldog relatives.

Average Lifespan

The average lifespan of a Leavitt Bulldog is typically around 10 to 14 years. This breed, developed for better health and athleticism, tends to have a longer lifespan compared to some other bulldog breeds. However, like all dogs, their health and longevity can be significantly influenced by genetics, environment, and the level of care they receive.

Common Health Issues

One of the main concerns in bulldog breeds has been respiratory issues due to their short muzzles. However, Leavitt Bulldogs have longer muzzles, which are conducive to better breathing and less respiratory distress. The absence of a flat face also contributes to a lower risk of overheating and offers a higher level of stamina.

Common Bulldog AilmentsLeavitt Bulldog Improvements
Respiratory difficultiesLonger muzzle, better breath
Hip DysplasiaHealthy genetics, fewer issues
Joint problemsLonger legs, less strain

Leavitt Bulldogs are less likely to suffer from hip dysplasia, thanks to selective breeding. This condition, which can lead to discomfort and mobility challenges, is often screened for with hip x-rays as a preventive measure in breeding dogs.

While they do exhibit better overall health, they are still susceptible to some health issues such as bloat, which requires careful monitoring of diet and feeding patterns. You should watch out for excessive drool, which may sometimes indicate an underlying health issue.

To maintain their wellbeing, routine health screening is essential. Keep an eye on signs of degenerative myelopathy, a progressive disease of the spinal cord. It’s also crucial to ensure they maintain a healthy weight to avoid additional stress on their hips and joints.

In conclusion, the Leavitt Bulldog generally enjoys a healthier life with fewer genetic complications. With adequate care, exercise, and regular veterinary checks, the Leavitt Bulldog stands a good chance of a long, joyful life.

Exercise and Housing Needs

Now, let’s look at what if you want to incorporate a Leavitt Bulldog puppy into your home.

Daily Exercise Requirements

Your Leavitt Bulldog needs regular exercise to stay healthy and happy. This breed is athletic and enjoys being active. Aim for at least 30 to 60 minutes of exercise each day. This can include walks, runs, or playtime in a secure area. It’s important to keep your dog engaged to prevent boredom and promote well-being.

Space Requirements

Leavitt Bulldogs do best with access to a yard where they can move freely. However, if you live in an apartment, regular trips to the park can suffice. Make sure there’s enough room indoors for your dog to stretch out and not feel cramped.

Suitable Living Conditions

Your dog’s living conditions should include a comfortable place to rest, shelter from extreme weather, and enough space to walk around. Leavitt Bulldogs thrive in environments where they can be part of the family activities. A secure, fenced outdoor area is ideal for exercise and play but remember to provide shelter and water.

Ensure your Leavitt Bulldog has a balanced lifestyle with both physical activity and rest. Take care of their housing needs to guarantee a content and healthy life.

Training and Socialization

With such a powerful dog as the LA, let’s look at what you need to know about training them.


Leavitt Bulldogs are known for their intelligence and willingness to please their owners. This makes them ideal candidates for training. Start training your Leavitt Bulldog early to take advantage of their eager nature. Use positive reinforcement techniques such as treats and praise to encourage good behavior.

Socialization Needs

Socialization is crucial for your Leavitt Bulldog. Expose them to various people, sights, sounds, and experiences early on. It’s important to socialize them as puppies to ensure that they grow up to be well-adjusted adults. Regular walks, dog parks, and puppy classes are great ways to socialize your pet.

Behavioral Training Tips

  • Consistency is key: Always use the same commands to avoid confusion.
  • Set boundaries: Make clear rules and stick to them.
  • Keep sessions short: Bulldogs can be stubborn, so it’s best to have multiple short training sessions.
  • Be patient: Training might take time, but with persistence, your Leavitt Bulldog will learn.
  • Socialize often: Regular interaction with new dogs and people will help your Bulldog become more adaptable.

With the right approach, your Leavitt Bulldog will be a well-mannered and sociable companion. Remember, training is an ongoing process that requires patience and consistency. Keep things positive and enjoyable for the best results.

Diet and Nutrition

Close up white and tan Leavitt Bulldog

DIet is one of the most essential keys to happy and healthy dog. What does your LA need?

Dietary Needs

Your Leavitt Bulldog requires a balanced and complete diet. This includes a mix of proteins, carbohydrates, fats, vitamins, and minerals to support their overall health. Make sure their diet includes vitamin E and omega-3 fatty acids (EPA & DHA), which are crucial for maintaining healthy skin and coat.

Feeding Schedule

You should establish a regular feeding schedule for your Leavitt Bulldog to help maintain a healthy weight. Adults typically do well with two meals per day. Control portion sizes to avoid obesity, and always make fresh water available to ensure hydration.

Special Dietary Considerations

Consider joint health supplements to support the robustness of your Bulldog’s joints, especially since they may be prone to certain joint issues due to their size and build. For more detailed information on proper nutrition and the effects of diet on health, you might want to consult a comprehensive guide on canine nutrition. Remember, every dog is unique, so consult your vet for personalized advice.

Grooming Needs

Don’t be fooled by the short coat. These dogs still need a moderate amount of regular grooming!

Grooming Frequency

You’ll want to regularly groom your Leavitt Bulldog to keep them healthy and comfortable. Aim for weekly brushing and washing to maintain a clean coat and skin. Ear and eye care should be a weekly ritual to prevent infections. Checking and cleaning wrinkles is essential, and should be done at least two to three times a week to avoid bacterial buildup. Nail clipping should be done as needed, usually every few weeks.

Grooming Tools

For an effective grooming session, you’ll need the right tools:

  • Brush: A soft bristle brush or a rubber grooming mitt.
  • Ear Cleaner: A veterinarian-approved solution.
  • Eye Wipes: To gently clean around the eyes.
  • Toothbrush and Toothpaste: Specially designed for dogs.
  • Nail Clippers: Get a size suitable for your dog’s nails.
  • Dog Shampoo: A mild shampoo formulated for dogs.

Grooming Tips

  1. Brushing and Washing

    Use gentle strokes while brushing to avoid irritating the skin. When washing, choose a mild dog shampoo to keep their coat shiny and healthy.

  2. Ear and Eye Care

    Clean your dog’s ears with a vet-approved cleaner. Wipe around the eyes gently to prevent tear stains and buildup.

  3. Dental Care

    Brush your dog’s teeth regularly with dog-specific toothpaste to maintain oral health.

  4. Clipping Nails

    Clip your dog’s nails with care, avoiding the quick, to prevent discomfort while walking.

  5. Cleaning Wrinkles

    Wipe the wrinkles with a damp cloth, dry them thoroughly, and if recommended by your vet, apply a suitable wrinkle cream.

By following these guidelines, you’ll ensure that your Leavitt Bulldog stays well-groomed and happy.

Cost of Ownership

So, what does a Leavitt Bulldog cost? Let’s take a look.

Initial Cost (Leavitt Bulldog Puppy Price)

Purchasing a Leavitt Bulldog puppy can be quite an investment. You might find that prices vary widely, often starting around $2,000 and going up from there. Factors such as the breeder’s reputation, the dog’s lineage, and unique traits can affect the price. 

Before you commit, remember to factor in initial needs like a crate, bedding, toys, and initial veterinary fees for vaccinations and check-ups.

Ongoing Costs

After the initial purchase, the ongoing expenses for your Leavitt Bulldog will include regular costs such as:

  • Food: High-quality dog food that meets your pup’s nutritional needs.
  • Veterinary Care: Annual check-ups, flea and tick prevention, and unexpected health issues. Remember, vet visits can add up, especially considering that Leavitt Bulldogs may face breathing issues due to their snouts.
  • Grooming: Regular grooming to keep their coat and nails in good condition.
  • Insurance: Pet insurance to help mitigate unexpected expenses.
  • Accessories and Supplies: Collars, leashes, bowls, and toys will need replacing over time.

Plan your budget wisely to ensure you can provide for your dog’s needs without any surprises. Regular care and preventive measures can also help avoid larger expenses down the line. Your furry friend’s health and happiness will be your ongoing responsibility, but the joy and companionship you receive in return are immeasurable.

Adoption and Buying Tips

Still set on your Leavitt? Well then let’s dive in to where to get one.

Where to Adopt/Buy

When considering adding a Leavitt Bulldog to your family, it’s crucial to seek out reputable sources. Bulldog Rescue Organizations provide valuable opportunities to adopt bulldogs looking for a new home. These rescues often have experienced individuals who can guide you in the adoption process.

What to Look for in a Breeder

Selecting a breeder should be a careful process. Breeders should adhere to ethical breeding standards, such as ensuring females are at least two years old before being bred and males at least 18 months. It’s important that they skip breeding females for consecutive heats and avoid inbreeding. Review the breeder’s practices regarding hip and elbow dysplasia to ensure they only breed dogs with healthier grades. Breeders should also breed Degenerative Myelopathy carriers exclusively to clear dogs.

Choosing the Right Puppy/Dog

When choosing your Leavitt Bulldog, observe the temperament and physical health. A well-socialized puppy from a litter that has not resulted from consecutive breeding should be a priority. Be sure to inquire about the parents’ health and the steps taken to ensure that the puppies have the best start in life, such as natural ties or if necessary, artificial insemination.

Ethical breeding practices

Ethical breeding practices are essential. This includes puppies delivered naturally where possible, but know that some bulldogs may require a cesarean section due to their physique. A trustworthy breeder will prioritize the well-being of the mother and puppies over the convenience of breeding practices. By supporting ethical breeders, you contribute to the health and longevity of the breed.

Remember, when adopting or purchasing a Leavitt Bulldog, your commitment and research into these aspects can lead to a healthier, happier addition to your family. Visit a Bulldog Rescue or work with responsible breeders to find your new companion.

Breed-Specific Considerations

Now let’s look at some more factors that will help decide if a Leavitt is right for you.

Climate Suitability

The Leavitt Bulldog is a sturdy breed that can adapt to various climates. However, you should be mindful of extreme temperatures. During hot weather, your Leavitt Bulldog may require a cool environment due to its brachycephalic (short-nosed) nature, which can make it prone to overheating. In cold climates, this breed may need a warm shelter, as short coats provide less insulation.

Compatibility with Lifestyle

Your lifestyle can greatly influence whether a Leavitt Bulldog is the right fit for you. This breed is known for its energy and playfulness, needing regular exercise to stay healthy and happy. If you enjoy being active and have time to dedicate to your dog’s physical needs, a Leavitt Bulldog could be a compatible companion.

Special Needs

Leavitt Bulldogs can have special health considerations. It’s important to ensure your dog has regular check-ups to monitor for potential breed-specific issues. Paying attention to diet and exercise can help manage their weight, which is important for your dog’s joint health and overall well-being.

Breed-specific Legislation

Breed-specific legislation (BSL) may affect your ownership of a Leavitt Bulldog. While not as commonly targeted as other breeds, it’s important to check your local laws to make sure there are no restrictions or requirements for owning a Leavitt Bulldog in your area. Being knowledgeable about and compliant with these rules helps ensure a smooth and legal companionship with your dog.

100 Best Leavitt Bulldog Names

When choosing a name for your Leavitt Bulldog, you want something that reflects their strong, yet affectionate nature. Here’s a list to inspire you:

Male NamesFemale NamesUnisex Names
1. Duke1. Bella1. Bailey
2. Brutus2. Daisy2. Alex
3. Tank3. Ruby3. Casey
4. Max4. Lola4. Sam
5. Thor5. Sadie5. Taylor
6. Rocky6. Molly6. Jordan
7. Buster7. Rosie7. Cameron
8. Apollo8. Lucy8. Riley
9. Jack9. Maggie9. Frankie
10. Bear10. Zoe10. Harley
41. Scout41. Ivy41. Dakota
42. Jasper42. Olive42. Marley
43. Benji43. Amber43. Quinn
44. Hank44. Pearl44. Sidney
45. Milo45. Gwen45. Rowan
90. Winston90. Willow90. Parker
91. Gus91. Bree91. Morgan
92. Ollie92. Elle92. Jessie
93. Louie93. Coco93. Casey
94. Murphy94. Georgia94. Drew
95. Theo95. Cleo95. Kris
96. Rex96. Faye96. Blair
97. Bruno97. Joy97. Hayden
98. Boomer98. Lexi98. Peyton
99. Ace99. Nala99. Skylar
100. Zeus100. Tasha100. River

Remember, your Leavitt Bulldog’s name will be a big part of their identity. Choose a name you love to call out and one that they’ll respond to with pride. Whether you lean towards traditional dog names or something unique, make sure it’s a good fit for your companion’s personality.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

In this section, you’ll find the answers to some of the most common questions about Leavitt Bulldogs. These insights will help you understand the breed’s temperament, choosing the right puppy, and more.

Are Leavitt Bulldogs aggressive?

Leavitt Bulldogs are known for their stable and confident temperament. They were bred to remove aggressiveness while retaining the bulldog’s bravery and spirit.

What should I look for when selecting a Leavitt Bulldog puppy?

When selecting a Leavitt Bulldog puppy, prioritize health clearances, a well-balanced temperament, and a trusted breeder. Ensure the puppy has been socialized and shows no signs of behavioral issues.

What are the main differences between Leavitt Bulldogs and Olde English Bulldogges?

The Leavitt Bulldog typically has a more athletic build and a higher energy level than the Olde English Bulldogge. Leavitt Bulldogs were specifically bred for a healthier, more active lifestyle.

What Makes a Leavitt Bulldog?

A genuine Leavitt Bulldog possesses a muscular build, a broad chest, and a friendly demeanor. They should appear agile, without the breathing problems associated with many bulldog breeds.

Where can I find reputable Leavitt Bulldog breeders?

You can find reputable Leavitt Bulldog breeders through breed clubs, dog shows, and vet recommendations. It’s essential to visit the breeder, meet the puppy’s parents, and review health tests.

What is the average lifespan of a Leavitt Bulldog?

The average lifespan of a Leavitt Bulldog is around 10 to 12 years. Proper diet, regular exercise, and routine veterinary care are crucial for a long, healthy life.

Final Thoughts

When you look at the Leavitt Bulldog, you’re seeing a breed with a rich history that’s been tailored to fit modern canine companionship. Their robust build and friendly demeanor make them a popular choice among dog enthusiasts who yearn for a bulldog with fewer health issues.

Key points about the Leavitt Bulldog:

  • Healthier Variation: These dogs are engineered to address the health problems often associated with traditional Bulldogs.
  • Family-Friendly: Their temperament is well-suited for families. They’re known to be affectionate and loyal.
  • Active Lifestyle: You’ll find them a joy to walk and play with, given their energy levels and need for regular exercise.

Remember, if you’re considering adding a Leavitt Bulldog to your family, it’s crucial to research breeders thoroughly to ensure you’re getting a healthy and ethically-bred pup.

For more details on their history and how they may fit into your life, you might want to take a look at books like “A Matter of Breeding“.

Your journey with a Leavitt Bulldog could be a rewarding adventure with a loving companion by your side. Just ensure you’re prepared for the responsibilities that come with owning this special breed.

Tamsin de la Harpe

Tamsin de la Harpe, with a lively spirit and 15 years of experience in dog training and behavior, brings a unique flair to the team. Based in South Africa, she is deeply engaged in rehabilitating dogs, focusing on their mental and nutritional health. Tamsin's approach to dog behavior is hands-on and heartfelt, shaped by her life with her own dogs and horses. Her journey in canine behavior is ongoing, as she continues advanced studies in this field.

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